Gunman kills two at video game tournament in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug 26 (Reuters) - A video gamer killed two people and wounded several others on Sunday when he opened fire with a handgun at a tournament that was being streamed online from a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, police said.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams named the shooter as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore and said he was in town for the competition. He declined to comment on what led to the third major mass shooting to hit Florida in the last two years.

Williams said Katz killed himself after the shooting and that his body was found along with those of his two victims. Williams said nine people were wounded by gunfire, and at least two others were injured while fleeing the scene.

Dozens of ambulances and police cars flooded into The Jacksonville Landing, a waterfront dining, entertainment and shopping site in the city's downtown, after several shots rang out on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The shooting took place during a regional qualifier for the Madden 19 online game tournament at the GLHF Game Bar inside a Chicago Pizza restaurant, according to the venue's website.

The bar was livestreaming the football video game competition when the gunfire started, according to video of the stream shared on social media. In the video, players can be seen reacting to the shots and cries can be heard before the footage cuts off.

Taylor Poindexter and her boyfriend, Marquis Williams, had traveled from Chicago to attend the tournament, and they fled when the gunfire erupted. She said she saw Katz take aim at his victims.

"We did see him, two hands on the gun, walking back, just popping rounds," Poindexter told reporters. "I was scared for my life and my boyfriend's."

One Twitter user, Drini Gjoka, said he was taking part in the tournament and was shot in the thumb.

"Worst day of my life," Gjoka wrote on Twitter. "I will never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second."

Another gamer, Chris "Dubby" McFarland, was hospitalized after a bullet grazed his head. "I feel fine, just a scratch on my head. Traumatized and devastated," he wrote on Twitter.

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Shooting at Jacksonville Landing gaming bar in Florida
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Shooting at Jacksonville Landing gaming bar in Florida
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 26: Jacksonville Sheriff's boats secure the docks in front of Jacksonville Landing on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. A shooting rampage during a Madden 19 video game tournament at the site claimed four lives, with several others wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 26: Jacksonville Sheriff's officers patrol around the ships at Jacksonville Landing on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. A shooting rampage during a Madden 19 video game tournament at the site claimed four lives, with several others wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 26: Jacksonville Sheriff's officers patrol the St. Johns River in front of Jacksonville landing after a shooting on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. A shooting rampage during a Madden 19 video game tournament at the site claimed four lives, with several others wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 26: Foot and car traffic is forbidden near Jacksonville Landing after a shooting on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. A shooting rampage during a Madden 19 video game tournament at the site claimed four lives, with several others wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
Police officers cordon off a street outside The Jacksonville Landing after a shooting during a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joey Roulette
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 26: Jacksonville Sheriff's officers investigate the shooting at Jacksonville Landing on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. A shooting rampage during a Madden 19 video game tournament at the site claimed four lives, with several others wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
Taylor Poindexter speaks to reporters after witnessing a gunman open fire on gamers participating in a video game tournament outside The Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Florida August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joey Roulette
A man holds a sign in support of gun control outside of The Jacksonville Landing after a shooting in Jacksonville, Florida August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joey Roulette
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 27: Jacksonville Sheriff officers helps keep the perimeter secure as law enforcement investigates a shooting at the GLHF Game Bar which uses the same entrance as the Chicago Pizza place (seen in the center to the rear) at the Jacksonville Landing on August 27, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 video game tournament and initial reports indicate 3 people were killed including the gunman and several others were wounded. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 27: Toshiba Sheron talks across the street from Jacksonville Landing on August 27, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. Sheron was inside the GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 video game tournament when the shooting occurred. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 27: A Jacksonville Sheriff crime scene unit's van is seen as law enforcement investigates a shooting at the GLHF Game Bar which uses the same entrance as the Chicago Pizza place (seen behind the van) at the Jacksonville Landing on August 27, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 video game tournament, with initial reports indicating three people dead, including the gunman, and several others wounded. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 27: Police tape is seen as law enforcement officials investigate a shooting at the GLHF Game Bar located in the Jacksonville Landing on August 27, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 video game tournament and initial reports indicate 3 people were killed including the gunman and several others were wounded. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 27: The Jacksonville Landing, along the St Johns river, is seen as law enforcement investigates a shooting at the GLHF Game Bar on August 27, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 video game tournament and initial reports indicate 3 people were killed including the gunman and several others were wounded. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 27: A Jacksonville Sheriff officer walks past the GLHF Game Bar where 3 people including the gunman were killed at the Jacksonville Landing on August 27, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 video game tournament and initial reports indicate 3 people were killed including the gunman and several others were wounded. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 26: A heavy police presence remains into the night at the shooting outside Jacksonville Landing on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. A shooting rampage during a Madden 19 video game tournament at the site claimed four lives, with several others wounded, according to published reports. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
This photo shows a police car behind police tape blocking a street leading to the Jacksonville Landing area in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, August 26, 2018, where two people were killed and 11 others wounded. - Two people were killed and 11 others wounded on August 26 when a video game tournament competitor went on a shooting rampage before turning the gun on himself in the northern Florida city of Jacksonville, local police said. Sheriff Mike Williams named the suspect of the shooting at a Madden 19 American football eSports tournament as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Gianrigo MARLETTA / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIANRIGO MARLETTA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Local media said the shooter had been competing in the tournament and lost, then apparently targeted other players before killing himself.

The Baltimore Sun reported that federal authorities were at a home in South Baltimore in connection with the investigation.

A Baltimore City police spokesman, TJ Smith, said the department was assisting partner law enforcement agencies with information that led them to Baltimore.

The latest rampage occurred amid a debate over U.S. gun laws that was given fresh impetus by the massacre in February of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Two years ago a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The sheriff's office said many people were transported to hospital, and its deputies found many others hiding in locked areas at The Landing.

Six victims were taken to Jacksonville's UF Health Hospital, five of them in stable condition and one in serious condition, hospital staff said.

A spokesman for Jacksonville's Memorial Hospital said it was treating three victims, all of whom were in stable condition.

Jacksonville, on Florida's Atlantic Coast, is about 35 miles south of the Georgia state line.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican who is challenging longtime Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in November's election, said he had offered to provide local authorities with any state resources they might need.

"Word of another tragic mass shooting in our state brings shock and outrage," Nelson said on Twitter.

Marco Rubio, U.S. senator from Florida, said both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were coordinating with local authorities to provide assistance.

President Donald Trump has been briefed and is monitoring the situation in Jacksonville, the White House said.

Reacting to news of the shooting during the tournament involving its game, Madden 19 maker Electronic Arts Inc said it was working with authorities to gather facts.

"This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved," the company said on Twitter. (Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales, Devika Krishna Kumar and Maria Caspani; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Chris Reese)

25 PHOTOS
25 fatal school shootings since Columbine
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25 fatal school shootings since Columbine

April 20, 1999 - Columbine High School 

Photo Credit: Reuters

Nov. 20, 1999 - Deming Middle School, New Mexico 

(photo by Joe Raedle)

 February 29, 2000 - Buell Elementary School, Michigan 

Photo Credit: Reuters 

May 26, 2000 - Lake Worth Middle School, Florida 

Photo Credit: Reuters 

March 5, 2001 - Santana High School, California 

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake MB/RCS

April 25, 2003 - Red Lion Area Junior High School, Pennsylvania

Photo Credit: Reuters 

September 24, 2003 - Rocori High School, Minnesota 

Photo Credit: Getty 

March 21, 2005. Red Lake High School, Minnesota

REUTERS/John Gress 

November 8, 2005 - Campbell County Comprehensive High School, Tennessee 

Photo Credit: Getty 

 Aug. 24, 2006 - Essex Elementary School, Vermont

 Photo Credit: Getty 

September 29, 2006 - Weston High School, Wisconsin 

(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

October 2, 2006 - West Nickel Mines School, Pennsylvania 

(Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

January 5, 2011 - Millard South High School, Nebraska 

Photo Credit: Getty

February 27, 2012 - Chardon High School, Ohio

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk 

December 14, 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary, Connecticut 

 (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

October 21, 2013 - Sparks Middle School, Nevada. 

(Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images)

December 13, 2013 -  Arapahoe High School, Colorado

REUTERS/Rick Wilking 

June 10, 2014  - Reynolds High School, Oregon

(Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

October 24, 2014 -  Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Washington

REUTERS/Jason 

February 12, 2016 - Independence High School, Arizona 

Photo Credit: Getty 

September 28, 2016 - Townville Elementary, South Carolina

(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

April 10, 2017 - North Park Elementary School, California 

 (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

September 13, 2017 - Freeman High School, Washington

Photo Credit: Getty 

January 23, 2018 - Marshall County High School, Kentucky

REUTERS/Harrison McClary

February 14, 2018 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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